Each hotplate is replaced with a new one that looks identical but has an electric element integrated underneath. An electric element is similarly installed between the roasting and simmering ovens.
The main barrel assembly is removed which is a significant part of the 'mass'- this makes heating up times shorter and the ovens more responsive all round.
It's important to note that it still cooks in exactly the same way as a normal range cooker, with radiant heat. It's not a 'normal' cooker when converted; just a more flexible range oven!
The hotplate elements are controlled by simple dials and the ovens digitally with 'uppy/downy arrows', you can set the exact temperature you need!
All the controls are hidden behind the control panel door just where they used to be! If you have a 4 oven cooker then a separate element warms the warming cupboard controlled by a simple dial.
What does the conversion mean in practice?
You can use both hotplates at any temperature independently; two simmering plates? No problem! They heat up from cold to a useful temperature in about 20 minutes and provide heat in exactly the same way as a conventional range cooker from that point. They reach absolute maximum temperature in about 40 minutes from cold, this is a surface temperature of 300°C. This is roughly 30°C hotter than the hotplate of a traditional cooker!
You can control the top oven to a very specific temperature and leave it off if you choose when not in use. It makes baking a lot easier! The lower oven's heat is always relative to whatever you have the top oven set to at about 60°C cooler. You'll still have the thermometer readout on the front but it'll be just as inaccurate as ever!
The flexibility of the system is how you save money. Leave all parts running flat out all the time and you won't save much but why on earth would you do that? Most customers leave the ovens on 24/7 and pop the hotplates on when needed. Going away for the weekend, click to off and then turn back on when you return. Simple!
The key to our cookers is flexibility. In the summer you can leave the ovens off and use a hotplate for frying and in the winter you can return the Aga range cooker to 'traditional' mode and have the ovens ready for use 24/7 and the hotplates on low to warm the kitchen. It's up to you.